Windows 2000 Server, ABIT BH6, ATI All-In-Wonder 32MB AGP, Sound Blaster Audigy 2 NX

Discussion in 'Abit' started by New Question, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. New Question

    New Question Guest

    In a previous letter we wrote to this newsgroup:

    Previously, we reported that our Windows 2000, ABIT BH6, AiW 32MB, and
    Extigy (USB) setup had a perfect TV picture, but major sound problems. The
    voice and music volume was extremely low and covered by loud buzz/hiss
    interference. We were told AiW 32MB TV sound would not work on an ABIT BH6.

    After reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling Windows 2000 Server to
    improve our system, we installed the Extigy and the newest AiW drivers and
    software expecting only the TV picture to work, as usual. Surprisingly, the
    AiW TV sound worked perfectly! We thought the AiW TV sound problem was
    over. As we continued to rebuild our system, we installed three additional
    USB components (one scanner and two printers) and minimal software. We
    later discovered that our TV sound was back to the loud buzz/hiss
    interference and no decipherable voice or music at all.

    We thought that maybe the additional USB components were some kind of drain
    on the Extigy, so we recently upgraded to a Sound Blaster Audigy 2 NX (USB)
    to improve overall sound performance. The Audigy 2 NX did not change the TV
    sound problem. Thus, we are going to reformat, restore perfect sound, then
    try to determine which additional device or software kills the TV sound.

    Does anyone else have a better approach?

    When we reformatted and reinstalled, the TV Sound had the same loud
    interference, but the voice and music could be heard again. We changed the
    BIOS AGP aperture from 256 to 128, then back to 256, with no change in the
    TV Sound problem. We checked the TV sound for several days and it still had
    a problem. When trying the sound today it worked perfectly.

    The only things we have done to the system since we last checked the sound
    is installing Juno 4.0 and making adjustments to Zone Alarm 4.0. Could
    changes in any of these have affected the sound? Is it possible that the
    interference is coming from cabling? We haven't changed the cabling, but we
    have a lot of cables and wires crossing over each other everywhere.

    Even though the TV sound is working perfectly, "Control Panel > ATI
    Multimedia Center > System Compatibility Check" still says: WDM INF files
    are not installed onto the system.

    When installing ATI software we also got the same old message: UCI is not
    installed on your system.
    New Question, Feb 22, 2004
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  2. New Question

    K Guest

    Swapping one USB sound card for another is not an 'upgrade'. All USB sound
    devices I have come across have sucked especially the Extigy. They also
    'suck' in terms of the CPU resources they consume. For the cost of those two
    souncards you could have replaced your ancient BH6 with a cheap
    mobo/processor combination with far better performance. The quality of
    onboard sound that comes with most recent motherboards is more than good
    enough, indeed the onboard sound on Nforce motherboards is as good as an
    Audigy 2 that costs three times as much as an nforce motherboard itself.

    K, Feb 22, 2004
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  3. New Question

    New Question Guest

    The price of our Audigy 2 NX was less than $111.00, the Extigy will be sold
    to offset the price (We estimated the net price at about $50.00.) The price
    of Nforce boards range between $49.00 to $117.00. The external Audigy 2 NX,
    and the shielded speakers we use with it, is also used for our Sony DVD
    Player, which has no speakers of its own. Switching to internal sound would
    require new speakers for our Sony DVD Player. The Audigy 2 NX uses USB 2.0,
    the Extigy uses USB 1.1. The Audigy 2 NX also has 24-bit DVD-Audio Playback
    and can use 7.1 speaker systems, the Extigy lacks both. The top of the line
    Audigy internal is $199.00.

    The BH6 is ancient, but we plan on purchasing the ABIT AI7 this year, or
    whatever they come out with to support the Prescott, because we want much
    more than just sound improvements. We will replace the AiW with the top of
    the line AiW at the same time. But for now, we don't see how a net price of
    about $50.00 for incremental sound enhancement and enhanced resale value can
    do us any harm.
    New Question, Feb 22, 2004
  4. New Question

    K Guest

    I see. USB can be problematic as you add more devices because the bandwidth
    (11mbps for USB 1.1) is shared, together with the power supplied (500mA
    max). Even devices that have their own power supply can draw more than than
    what is recommended. It might be worth trying a separate USB card (for
    around $10) and plug just the NX into that.

    K, Feb 22, 2004
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